...My name is Anna Verco. I am no ordinary researcher. My task is to hunt a medieval manuscript, a book of alchemy and witchcraft. 

It was lost for centuries.  But I have found a clue... 

Barcelona, Summer 2003. Three women are sacrificed to an unknown purpose, skin carved with a cryptic alphabet, tongues cut from their mouths. Sent beautiful, sinister letters, Inspector Fabregat cannot decipher the warnings within. As Barcelona explodes in revelry on the Festival of St Joan, the actress Natalia Hernandez lies broken on the steps of the Cathedral. The city bays for blood, Fabregat chases a shadow-like suspect and signs that whisper of secrets beyond his grasp.

Barcelona, Winter 2014. Anna Verco - academic, book thief, savant - unearths letters hidden for centuries from a lightning-struck chapel in Mallorca. What they reveal compels her and Fabregat to reignite the Hernandez investigation. Every page she turns conceals a coded message; every street she treads leads her deeper into the labyrinth. As Fabregat baits her with suspects, and threats darken her steps, Anna hunts her prey. The book that began it all, a medieval revelation written in the language of witches and alchemists: The Serpent Papers. Anna believes this book will unlock the mystery. She does not yet know she is the key.

Quercus Hardback,  January 29 2015  

Quercus Paperback, September 10 2015 

Quercus Paperback, September 10 2015 


Remarkable...It will leave many readers impatient for the next
— Literary Review
The slow circling towards a killer is thrilling, but Cornwell’s real skill is her piling up of legend and history to bring the quest for an ancient manuscript alive
— The Sunday Times
Everything is relevant – so pay attention – and everything is enticing, for readers who enjoy this sort of game...She’s an original, entertaining writer. I finished this episode wanting more
— The Guardian
The kind of rich multi-layered story telling that demands and rewards commitment...A triumphant debut by a young writer with an incredible imagination
— The Times
Combines the intrigue of The Da Vinci Code with the mysticism of a Carlos Ruis Zafón novel...This is a gripping tale in which every detail counts
— Financial Times
A complex and ambitious literary thriller
— The Observer
Intelligent and richly realised
— Oxford Times
Jessica Cornwell gives women a powerful voice . . . A nail-biting page-turner with a vital female protagonist who stands out in a thriller market flooded with the male-centric books . . . A complex, non-linearly-told narrative that haunts the mind long after the last page
— Akshita Nanda, The Straits Times
A breathless, mystical thriller . . . Will certainly become a cultish craze among all kinds of readers from radical feminists to modern-day mystics and especially those who love sectish puzzles and mystery
— The Irish Independent
A supremely clever feminist murder mystery
— The Vagenda

Published in the UK & Commonwealth by Quercus Books, and in Canada by Harper Collins.

 Available online and in stores across the UK. 




Foreign Editions

Editorial Planeta – Spanish Translation, June 2015

Edicions 62 – Catalan Translation, June 2015 

Edicions 62 – Catalan Translation, June 2015 


Czech  - Albatros

French - Editions Michel Lafon

Hebrew - Matar Publishing House

Japanese - Hayakawa Publishing Inc

Norwegian - Cappelen Damm

Slovak - Albatros